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Book Rec: The House in the Pines by Ana Reyes

Updated: Apr 9

"He’s taking you to a cabin in the woods. What is this, a horror movie?"

"You wouldn’t say that if you knew him."

In her debut novel, Ana Reyes takes us on an adventure filled with hazy memories and an unreliable narrator. The House in the Pines pulls you into the mysterious deaths of two women. I enjoyed the original, though slightly farfetched, plot. I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below!

Book cover with title and author; background is a key

Maya was a high school senior when her best friend, Aubrey, dropped dead in front of the enigmatic man named Frank whom they’d been spending time with all summer.

Seven years later, Maya lives in Boston with a loving boyfriend and is kicking the secret addiction that has allowed her to cope with what happened years ago, the gaps in her memories, and the lost time that she can’t account for. But her past comes rushing back when she comes across a recent YouTube video in which a young woman suddenly keels over and dies in a diner while sitting across from none other than Frank. Plunged into the trauma that has defined her life, Maya heads to her Berkshires hometown to relive that fateful summer—the influence Frank once had on her and the obsessive jealousy that nearly destroyed her friendship with Aubrey.

At her mother’s house, she excavates fragments of her past and notices hidden messages in her deceased Guatemalan father’s book that didn’t stand out to her earlier. To save herself, she must understand a story written before she was born, but time keeps running out, and soon, all roads lead back to Frank’s cabin...

Discussion Guide (spoilers ahead!)

  1. What did you think of Maya as the narrator? Did you trust her memory?

  2. Were you surprised to learn the truth of Frank’s cabin?

  3. What do you think of hypnotherapy? Do you think the plot is realistic? Do you think the practice can force someone to commit a crime?

  4. Were you satisfied with the ending? Do you think Frank will see justice?

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Sounds scary 😱

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